‘Teen Mom’ Amber Portwood’s Life-Threatening Infection Could Happen to You

amber portwoodAs if being in jail wasn't a miserable enough experience, Teen Mom Amber Portwood is apparently dealing with one of the most miserable physical maladies ever: An abscess in her mouth that's grown "so big and swollen that her whole jaw is puffed out," according to her brother Shawn. "Her mouth has become infected and the pain is making her so sick that she can’t sleep, and hasn’t eaten a thing in three days."

YOWCH. What's even worse is how long Portwood has to wait for treatment, supposedly: six weeks! "It needs to be down now. If the infection gets in her bloodstream, it can be life-threatening," says Shawn. Granted, I'm not sure how much of this is true or if Amber Portwood's brother is in fact an expert on dental disasters, but if Portwood really does have a very angry and painful tooth abscess -- Shawn is right about the life-threatening thing!


AND the pain. I can personally vouch for that one (unfortunately). Worried you might have a tooth abscess of your own? Wondering what a tooth abscess even is and/or why people get them?

Here's what you need to know (trust me, you don't want to learn this stuff the hard way!):

The Mayo Clinic defines a tooth abscess as "a collection of pus that's caused by a bacterial infection in the inner part of your tooth." Lovely, eh? These nasty infections are usually the result of either an untreated cavity or a crack that allows bacteria into the tooth.

Symptoms include:

Severe, persistent, throbbing toothache (and by "severe" I mean it hurts so much you wish somebody would knock you out with a hammer -- anything to make the pain go away!!!)

Extreme sensitivity to pressure from biting or chewing and/or hot and cold temperatures (and by "extreme" I mean any attempts to eat food will result in howls of agony)

High fever; tender, swollen lymph nodes under your jaw or in your neck; swelling in your face (in my case, the right side of my jaw puffed up to about five times the size of my left)

Really gross smell/taste in your mouth (I don't even want to remember)

If you have any of these symptoms, go straight to the dentist. Right now! You can even go to the emergency room of your nearest hospital! Because if that horrid awful yuck spreads, it could turn into sepsis, a widespread and potentially fatal infection. The abscess will need to be drained, and you might need a root canal. You might even need to get your tooth pulled (but I promise you won't care at that point).

The moral of the story, of course, is BRUSH AND FLOSS! BRUSH AND FLOSS! Or, in Portwood's case, BRUSH AND FLOSS AND DON'T VIOLATE THE TERMS OF YOUR PROBATION!

Have you ever had a tooth abscess?


Image via MTV

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